Granite State Student Voice

New Hampshire Student Media Association

Why stopping Johnson from debating is hurting our democracy.

by Travis Fischer


Last night, millions of Americans waited with anticipation as Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump took the stage in the Presidential Debate. But to millions of other Americans, there was at lease one face missing from the debate stage: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

As a Presidential Candidate on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington DC, one would think that Johnson would meet the criteria to join the Republican and Democratic candidates on the stage. But in order to surmount the steps though, he needed at least 15% according to predetermined polls, but according to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, he is hovering around 8%.



Governors Johnson and Weld at rally in Concord, NH. Photo Credits: Travis Fischer

At a rally in Concord, NH a month ago, Johnson’s running mate, Bill Weld had this to say about Johnson being left out of the debate, “The debate commission is supposed to be nonpartisan. [This] isn’t nonpartisan, it’s bipartisan.”

Another Quinnipiac poll on August 25th found that 62% of those polled thought Johnson should be included in the Presidential Debates. But the reason why they don’t have the magic 15% that gives them the Golden Ticket to the stage is because most people see voting outside the two parties as a waste of their vote so they stick with their party.

Without the representation on the debate stage, one is left wondering how the presidential race will ever be expanded beyond 2 choices. This can leave people who don’t like the two options feeling like they have to vote for the lesser of two evils, or it can leave people who support 3rd parties feeling disenfranchised. Democracy is dependent on choices, but when there are only two, there isn’t much of a choice. But with another option, Democracy suddenly becomes more free.

With how this election has been going so far, seeing a 3rd party candidate gain national recognition and maybe even electoral votes wouldn’t be the strangest thing this election cycle.



Categories: Presidency & Press, Uncategorized

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